Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Cumbria: think again on footpath cuts (8/2/11)

I've been in Cumbria today to join local Ramblers groups to protest
against county council proposals to cut the rights of way budget by
one third.

Members from Penrith, Carlisle, and Kendal joined the walk from Orton
- along with press and radio. We were also joined by two
representatives of the Institute of Public Rights of Way and Access
Management (IPROW).
The original proposal was to cut the rights of way budget by 2/3rds.
Thanks to public pressure, this has been scaled back to 1/3rd, which
is a step in the right direction. But we want the council to be under
no illusions about the effect of lopping off hundreds of thousands of
pounds, as still proposed.
Walk leader, Alan Duval, told me that 25 years ago, rights of way in
Cumbria were in pretty bad shape. Thanks to the foresightedness of the
council and its years of investment, they gradually improved to
today's good state. But with such large cuts in the offing, much of
this work could be undone.
Walking tourism is so important to Cumbria. Yes, the local council is
in a difficult situation. But cuts of this scale will be a false
The council meets next week to decide.

To view the photos from the event, visit our Flikr site from this link:

Tom Franklin
Sent from my iPhone

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